Experts expect to pay more for Christmas trees, say experts

Experts expect to pay more for Christmas trees, say experts

Huntington, New York Adding Christmas trees to the list of items facing shortages and high prices this year.

Newsday reported that several factors are driving the trend, including last year’s super sales during the first Christmas during the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain issues this year.

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Experts said tree buyers should expect to pay between 10% and 30% more for both live trees and artificial trees this year, and they also have a smaller selection to choose from.

“The prices have gone up dramatically. We’ve had to compromise on the types of trees we get, their sizes, everything,” John Mohlenhof, secretary of the hook and ladder company for the Huntington Fire Department, told the newspaper.

Mohlenhof said the Huntington Fire Department sold its trees within 48 hours last year in what is usually a week of fundraising. This year, prices have been raised by about $5, the first time this has been done in a decade. The department had to pay higher prices to the farm in Pennsylvania that supplies the trees.

Last year, owner Ed Dart said the Darts Christmas Tree Farm in Southwold sold mature trees for the first time in 50 years, and also sold many trees that had not yet matured, making the farm have fewer large trees this year.

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There are several factors at work. Farmers struggling after the 2009 economic recession have been planting fewer trees for several years, and demand has been rising in the past several years, experts told Newsday. It takes eight to 10 years for the tree to reach maturity.

Shipments of artificial trees have been delayed this year due to supply chain issues including a shortage of truck drivers to deliver the shipments.

Jamie Warner, executive director of the American Christmas Tree Association, which represents Christmas tree retailers, tells the newspaper.

Andy Bergament, category manager, told the newspaper Costello Ice Hardware, which sells artificial trees at 22 Long Island locations, raised prices by 25 percent. He said the chain usually has Christmas items in stores by late October but is still waiting to ship some artificial trees from China which are supposed to arrive next week.

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